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CHAPTER   IV

fHE   SEVEN  <TENTS   OF

MEDICINE

WHEN I was a youngster the ambition of
every Indian boy was to be a medicine-
man; for this mystic being was, and still is3 often
more powerful In the tribe than the head chief
himself. There may be several chiefs in a tribe;
there may be many councilmen, but there is only
one medicine-man, and he guards the secrets of
his cult more zealously than he does his own life,
The medicine-man has a triple office in the tribe:
he Is the doctor, lawyer,, and priest He cures the
sick, gives advice and counsel on tribal matters
and on the outcome of future events, and prays
for those at the point of death—often effecting
miraculous recoveries through some strange men-
tal Influence which he wields over those who come
under his 'power'.

Before remarking upon a few of the uncanny
things which I have seen the medicine-man do, I
shall first explain how he is chosen in the tribe.